KP Cares Turns KPHS Pink

Grace Allen
(l to r): Ben Consoles, Melina Connolly, Emma Durant, Jenna Midura, Elise Pereira, and Caitlin Foley. 
Issue Date: 
November, 2017
Article Body: 

On Friday, October 13, KP High School turned pink. Organized by KP Cares, a community service group at the school, the event—dubbed Paint the School Pink--was held to help raise awareness about breast cancer.
According to Cheryl Rowe, the faculty advisor for KP Cares, this was the third year for the event, and involved all of the organization’s members, some 200-strong, plus other clubs and sports teams at KP.
“They all picked a different part of the school to decorate,” said Rowe. “Almost every area of the school was decorated in one single afternoon.”
An initiative of the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, the event can be a fundraiser or simply a way to bring a school community together in a spirit of cooperation.
KP Cares was started in 2012 by then-student Megan Connor, to support a teacher at KP Middle School who was battling cancer. The group has grown from just a few initial members to one of the biggest clubs at the high school.
Rowe said the organization centers its community service on families within the KP school system, and unfortunately, has had no shortage of recipients.
In the last few years, the group has held fundraisers for several KP students impacted by cancer, and has started a scholarship in memory of Henry Carr, a Class of 2015 student who passed away last summer from the disease. The group also held a “Chop to Stop, Shave to Save” haircut-a-thon in October, to raise money for the scholarship.
Last year, KP Cares held a “fight-back” festival in support of Lt. George Labonte, a Wrentham police officer battling cancer. In December, the group set up a Giving Tree in the school library, so students could purchase gifts for local children from families struggling with financial difficulties. The Giving Tree was so successful—over 350 gifts were purchased for 84 families—the event will be repeated again this year.
In the spring, members of KP Cares will travel to Costa Rica, to volunteer in an orphanage.
Rowe says the organization’s activities are driven by its members. They come up with the ideas, and her role is simply to support the students.
“People think that this age group is so focused on themselves, but they’re not,” said Rowe. “If you give them the opportunity and the avenue to show their compassion, they’re going to surprise you. This group has been remarkable.”